Obama picks Cuba negotiator as ambassador to Mexico

Obama picks Cuba negotiator as ambassador to Mexico
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President Obama will nominate Roberta Jacobson, a veteran diplomat who has helped lead the effort to restore ties with Cuba, as the next U.S. ambassador to Mexico, the White House said Monday.

Jacobson has served as assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs at the State Department since 2012. She led talks to reestablish formal diplomatic ties with Cuba, a central part of Obama’s second-term foreign policy agenda.


The announcement comes days after the State Department formally dropped Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a major step toward the reopening of embassies.

Now, Jacobson will shift her attention to Mexico, one of the U.S.’s largest trading partners, a top source of immigrants and a key partner in the war against drug cartels.

Jacobson has prior experience working with Mexico. From 2007 to 2010, she served as the deputy assistant secretary for Canada, Mexico and NAFTA issues, and for four years prior to that, she was director of the office of Mexican affairs at the State Department.

If confirmed by the Senate, she will replace Earl Anthony Wayne, a career diplomat who has served as ambassador to Mexico since 2011.